Alice Springs movers and shakers are slow on the uptake of Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund loans, pampering borrowers with generous interest and repayment conditions. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia at Yulara is borrowing $27.5m for airport runway, taxiway and apron upgrade, runway lighting and provision of contractor accommodation.
Alice Springs is slow off the mark getting a slice of the $5bn in the kitty of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility. ERWIN CHLANDA spoke with Mark Coffey (pictured), Head of the Office of Northern Australia.
The Alice Springs native title body may seek the return of nearly $700,000 in cash, and of shares in the Yeperenye shopping centre worth $400,000 in annual interest, which were transferred to other entities apparently without proper agreement.
This is revealed in a document obtained by the Alice Springs News Online. It was prepared for a meeting between the native title body, Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation (LAAC), and what has become known as the "Enterprise Group" earlier this year, in particular some directors and the Public Officer of Lhere Artepe Enterprises Pty Ltd (LAE).
A spokeswoman for the Enterprise Group, Sally McMartin, responding to our request for comment, says: "There appeared to be monies owing to LAAC – the LAE Directors were not however aware of the past arrangements nor for what purpose the monies were used nor any past arrangements around repayment.
"The LAE Board sought from LAAC some advice and documentation of the 'Loans' and the amounts of each loan because these numbers were also not firm."
Part of the disputed amounts were used for the purchase of the three IGA supermarkets in Alice Springs while Darryl Pearce (at left) was a key figure in Lhere Artepe affairs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
"The My New Home scheme is an interesting proposal – my only concern is that there's often a difference between what governments, lending institutions and finance brokers say people can borrow and how much they should," says Duncan Poulson, NT Regional Commissioner of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
Posted September 17:
The new government appears unlikely to implement the no-deposit, low interest scheme, My New Home, promised by the defeated Labor government – certainly not in a hurry. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.